“Winter’s Doom”

By Dr. Abner Mality

The simplest pleasures are often the best. That’s a big reason why I enjoy “Winter’s Doom”. This is pure and undiluted thrash metal and nothing more. And it kills!

Sanktuary hail from the frozen tundra of the Yukon, making them the only metal band I know of that comes from that wilderness. A place that makes Green Bay look like Long Island. And they have no relation to Warrel Dane’s band. Perhaps it’s the isolation that makes this album sound so unadulterated and untouched. These guys have learned the lessons of the 80’s thrash-masters well…the songs are all fast and super riffy, but they also sound clean and precise. Don’t expect the German wall of death here! They bring a ton of classic bands to mind…fellow Canucks Annihilator, Megadeth, Forbidden, Metallica. “Space Race” opens the attack with a beautifully constructed song that demonstrates Sanktuary’s talent for classy thrash…great time changes and soloing. The vocals are pretty high pitched and nasal and might take some getting used to.

The album blows by in just the right amount of time The band doesn’t try to modernize their sound or add any unnecessary frills, which is nothing but a huge relief to me. “Wild Is The Wind” is tuneful and catchy but not in a wimpy way, “Curse of the Vermin” is quite epic and complex, “Corpse Blockade” simply lays down the thrash.

How the hell is it these guys don’t have a record deal? Is it the Yukon location that holds them back? I’d think that could work for them, not against them. Anyhoo, oldschool thrashers are bound to love Sanktuary and “Winter’s Doom”!